Skip Navigation
Falvey Memorial Library
Advanced
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

Black History in Documentary Films

February is over, but at Falvey, Black history is always part of our collections. One way to learn about facets of this vital component of American history is through documentary films. Read on to learn about some library-subscribed streaming video platforms, and to get some great film recommendations!

Falvey offers Villanova’s students, staff, and faculty access to thousands of documentaries via our streaming subscriptions. Most of our documentaries come to us via Academic Video Online (also known as AVON). AVON offers more than 70,000 films and documentary TV episodes from distributors including PBS, the BBC, Bullfrog Films, Ro*Co Films, California Newsreel, and many others. Most films include searchable full text transcripts. Browse the Film Platform and Black Studies subcollections to get a sampling of AVON’s contents.

Academic Video Online (ProQuest) – Images from the Black Studies film collection

We also license a changing set of documentaries and feature films on the Kanopy platform. You can think of these films as long-term rentals, selected on the basis of faculty requests. Once campus-wide access is purchased, the film remains available via the library catalog for up to three years. Click here to view the films currently available to the Villanova community via Kanopy.

Here are ten documentaries currently screening via AVON and Kanopy that relate to the history of Black Americans. Click the image to access the film.

Banished: A History of African American Expulsion (2007)

 

Black and Blue (1987)
On the history of race and policing in Philadelphia

 

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2016)

 

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

 

John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)

 

Let the Fire Burn: Tragedy in Philadelphia (2013)

 

Olympic Pride – American Prejudice (2016)
On the other 17 Black athletes who participated in
the 1936 Berlin Olympics… beyond Jesse Owens.

 

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (2002; 4 episodes)

 

T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s (2013)

 

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2014)

Enjoy exploring these great films!


Susan Turkel is a Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.


Like
1 People Like This Post

Black History Month: 4 Author’s Debut Books

In recognizing Black History Month, here is a list of four rising Black authors who have recently released their debut books. I recommend adding these to your reading list for 2021 and maybe even picking one up to read this month.

Regina Porter’s The Travelers

Regina Porter’s The Travelers is a novel looking at family and race relations between two families over the course of 50 years. With a background as a playwright, Porter published this, her debut novel, in 2020. The novel was named one of the best books of the year by Esquire and was a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel. 

Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age

Published in late 2019, Kiley Reid’s debut novel Such a Fun Age explores themes of what it means to be family, the complex reality of adulthood, race, and privilege. When Emira Tucker is accused of kidnapping the 2-year-old she is babysitting, both Emira and the girl’s mother’s lives are turned upsidedown. Such a Fun Age was the winner of the African American Literacy Award and a finalist for many other awards.

Robert Jones Jr.’s The Prophets

Robert Jones Jr. has written for many publications, although The Prophets is his debut novel. The Prophets is a piece of historical fiction following two young men on a Deep South plantation. Jones’s novel has received many accolations thus far including The New York Times Book Review‘s Books to Watch for in January and one of O, the Oprah Magazine’s 32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021.

Nadia Owusu’s Aftershocks

Nadia Owusu’s first memoir, Aftershocks, is a mix of memoir and cultural history, as Owusu switches between talking of her childhood growing up to a daughter of a United Nations official and of her adult life in New York. Aftershocks explores themes of identity, the meaning of home, and emotional trauma. Owusu’s book was selected as one of 13 new books to watch for in January 2021 by the New York Times, one of Oprah.com’s 55 most anticipated books of 2021, and is the current Read with the Other Jenna book club pick for February.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


Like

Douglass Day: Transcribe-a-thon Featuring Mary Church Terrell

By Kallie Stahl 

Born enslaved, abolitionist leader Fredrick Douglass never knew his exact birthdate, so he chose to celebrate every year on Valentine’s Day. After Douglass’ death in 1895, many people, including Mary Church Terrell, (an activist, educator, and author), began honoring his legacy, celebrating “Douglass Day” every Feb. 14. What began as a recognition and remembrance of Douglass’ memory and life of activism grew into a “collective act of radical love for Black history.” In the 1920s, Dr. Carter G. Woodson expanded Douglass Day to a week-long celebration of Black history, and in the 1960s student groups turned Woodson’s week-long commemoration into a monthly celebration—”Black History Month.”

A more recently developed Douglass Day celebration is an annual Transcribe-a-thon when historical documents are read to commemorate and preserve Black history. “Transcriptions improve search, readability, and access to handwritten and typed documents for everyone.” Join fellow Villanovans at the University’s Transcribe-a-thon on Friday, Feb. 12, at noon. In addition to transcribing the papers of Mary Church Terrell, Dr. Charlene Sinclair, founding director of the Center for Race, Religion, and Economic Democracy and the program coordinator for the Interfaith Organizing Initiative, will also be presenting. Join the virtual event here.

Looking for more Douglass Day events? Join By the People (Library of Congress) for transcriptions of Terrell’s papers on Friday, Feb. 12 and Sunday, Feb. 14. View the full schedule of events here. For more information on Mary Church Terrell, check out former graduate assistant Daniella Snyder’s blog post.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 


 


Like
1 People Like This Post

Ten Resources to Explore for Black History Month

By Susan Turkel

February is Black History Month, and Villanova kicked off its observance last week with the MLK Keynote Address by Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Wednesday and the Freedom School day of learning on Thursday.

Celebrate Black history anytime by visiting these online resources made available to you by Falvey Memorial Library!


1. African American Studies Center (Oxford University Press)

The African American Studies Center is a comprehensive collection of scholarship focusing on the individuals and events that have shaped African American history and culture. It includes more than 15,000 biographical entries, and thousands of encyclopedia articles and images. You’ll also find more than 500 primary source items, such as speeches, letters, legal documents, and poems.


2. Civil Rights and Social Justice collection (HeinOnline)

The Civil Rights and Social Justice collection brings together a variety of legal materials related to civil rights broadly defined, including protection from discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, and ability.

CRSJ includes full text access to legislative histories, hearings and prints, Supreme Court briefs, government reports, law review articles, and publications from the Commission on Civil Rights.


3. Black Drama, Third Edition (Alexander Street Press)

Playbill for “Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope”
by Vinnette Carroll and Micki Grant

Black Drama contains more than 1700 full text works by playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. These plays were written between 1850 through the present.

Black Drama contextualizes these plays by providing detailed information about productions, theaters, production companies, as well as ephemera such as playbills and posters.

Many of the works are rare, hard-to-find, or out of print. This unique database includes a large number of previously unpublished plays by writers such as Langston Hughes, Derek Walcott, Alice Childress, Amiri Baraka, Zora Neale Hurston, and many others.


4. Oxford Bibliographies on African American Studies

The Oxford Bibliographies are a set of peer-reviewed, annotated bibliographies with expert commentary on scholarship in a wide variety of disciplines. They’re a great place to start any research project!

Each bibliography entry includes a “FindIt” link, to help you access the recommended book or article via Falvey’s collections.

The African American Studies series includes bibliographies on a wide variety of topics; examples include Political Resistance, African American Doctors, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Ida B. Wells, and Pan-Africanism.


5. Black Historical Newspapers (ProQuest) & African American Newspapers (Accessible Archives)

Newspapers are essential primary source documents, presenting commentary on political, social, and economic events as well as photographs, cartoons, and advertisements.

There have been newspapers published by and for African American in the U.S. since the early 19th century. For more information on using newspapers and magazines as primary source documents, see this guide.

Falvey offers two majors sources for finding these useful materials:

  • African American Newspapers covering the 19th century (including Philadelphia’s Christian Reporter, Douglass’s Monthly, Freedom’s Journal, and the Weekly Advocate)
  • Black Historical Newspapers covering the 20th century (including the Philadelphia Tribune, Chicago Defender, Baltimore African-American, New York Amsterdam News, and many more).

6. Ethnic Newswatch (ProQuest)

Ethnic Newswatch is a news database that provides a direct window into non-mainstream perspectives.

Use Ethnic Newswatch to find newspapers and magazines published by ethnic, cultural, and community presses, mostly in the United States.

This resource contains current content as well as material going back to the 1950s, and includes publications from African American, Hispanic, Arab/Middle Eastern, Jewish, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities.


7. Academic Video Online (Alexander Street Press)

Looking for something to watch? Academic Video Online offers more than 70,000 films and television episodes on a huge variety of topics.

The Black Studies in Video channel offers award-winning documentaries such as John Lewis: Good Trouble and Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, and TV series such as Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and American Experience: Eyes on the Prize.

Each film can be streamed online, and comes with a searchable transcript and the ability to create and save film clips.


8. Slavery, Abolition, and Social Justice (Adam Matthew)

Slavery, Abolition, and Social Justice is an archival collection of scanned manuscripts, court documents, pamphlets, books, paintings, maps, and some secondary sources on many topics relating to slavery and abolition. It covers the period from 1490 to 2007.


9. African American Communities (Adam Matthew)

African American Communities is a multimedia collection of oral histories, correspondence, newspapers, pamphlets, images and official records that provides insights into a variety of African American experiences in the 20th century.

This resource draws its source materials from archives in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina. Explore 360 views of objects, read letters and articles, watch videos, and listen to oral history interviews on a variety of topics.


10. Research Guides

Falvey Librarians have created curated research guides to help you get started with your research. Each guide provides recommendations for encyclopedias and other reference works, primary source materials, and databases for locating relevant journal articles.

Check out any of the following:

 

Stay tuned for more blog posts throughout the month featuring documentaries, books, and more, all with a focus on Black history!


Susan Turkel, MA, MLS, is a Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


Like

Celebrating Black Women’s Voices with Seeking Peace Podcast Series

""

 

By Merrill Stein

Visit the Seeking Peace: stories of women peace builders podcast series  during Black History Month to spend some time listening to podcasts, featuring women’s voices from around the world addressing struggles for peace and security, including Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Nobel prize laureates, legislators, journalists and other human rights advocates from all walks of life.

The podcasts are part of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) , a resource celebrating its tenth anniversary. The Institute also features original research publications, the Global Women, Peace and Security Index, the U.S. Women Peace and Security Index, a multimedia section and a host of other resources promoting women as critical to achieving sustainable peace.

More information about women peacebuilders and the Institute can also be read in Telling stories of women peacebuilders in the midst of a pandemic and viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igaEcc9IDHQ.

A link to the Institute’s global index is available on the Falvey Library’s homepage, Databases A-Z list.

 


Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.


Like

Black History Month

Black History Month is a celebration of the contributions of African Americans have made to our history and a time of deep reflection on the continued struggle for racial justice. 2020 has shown our society has fallen short on racial equality and justice. For Villanovans, we were confronted with our own inequalities with stories from @blackvillanova (Black at Villanova) on Instagram. The stories presented are a glaring reminder the work Villanova needs to work harder for better inclusion and equality. For the University Archives, this means continually striving towards the archives as a place that empowers and advocates increased representation in our historical record.

To learn more about the history of the black experience at Villanova and pay tribute to those who have shaped our community, you can explore:

MLK speaking at Villanova

MLK Speaking at Villanova, 1965

 

 

Nova Stories : Campus Life from the 1960s

 

 

 

Black Villanova: An Oral History Banner

Black Villanova: An Oral History Banner

 

 

Black Villanova: An Oral History

 

 

John "Chubby" Cox, 1973

John “Chubby” Cox, 1973

 

Villanova Digital Library

Image can be found in the Villanova Athletics collection.

 

 

 

 

Though these stories only touch the surface of the black experience at Villanova, it’s an starting point to learn more about our history.

For more information on social, political sexual, racial, and gendered issues in today’s world, check out the Diversity and Inclusion Libguide.


Like

Register for The Bible and Black Lives Matter Event on Feb. 7th!

The Bible and Black Lives Matter poster

 

Faculty, staff, and students are invited to join us on Sunday, Feb. 7 from 4:00-6:00 pm for a virtual talk and conversation led by The Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart and Black Campus Ministry Students on the “Bible and Black Lives Matter.” Dr. Washington-Leapheart is an adjunct professor in Villanova’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies. She also directs the Villanova Gospel Choir.

Last summer, in a press conference, NBA athlete Jonathan Isaac cited the gospel as the reason he refuses to kneel or wear a t-shirt in solidarity with Black Lives Matter during a game. Reactions to his comments reignited the ongoing debate about the compatibility of the Movement for Black Lives with Christian faith. Is there a biblical basis for participating in this global movement? We’ll talk about this and more in this interactive session. Come prepared to engage with other participants!

This ACS-approved event, which is co-sponsored by Black Campus Ministry students, Campus Ministry, and Falvey Memorial Library, is free and open to Villanova faculty, staff, and students.

Please REGISTER for the event by following this link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=5Y1adpTP8EScr65b-M-jZu02-MTLlfJMtmZZZz_6ButURjI5RkxEUkFBTTNWMkNPWDhMUFVZRVgzSi4u

Once you have completed and submitted the short registration form, the Zoom link for the gathering will be sent to you.

 

We Believe Black Lives Matter and Jesus is the Lord

 

For full listing of Black History Month programs, please see The Office of Intercultural Affairs’ events page: https://www1.villanova.edu/university/student-life/intercultural-affairs/events-and-workshops.html

 

 


headshot picture of regina duffy

Regina Duffy is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


 

 


Like

TBT: Progress on TV

By Kelly McMahon

This week, I was struck by this 1990 Black History Month article from The Villanovan. In the article, then entertainment editor Stephen Powers offers us a brief history of black television, from the “golden years” of the 1950s, to the radical changes in the 1980s with the creation of The Cosby Show and Family Matters.

While he writes that progress has been made since the 1950s when it comes to diverse representation on major sitcoms and soap operas, Powers concludes his article by acknowledging that despite these advances, “there is still some progress to be made,” citing what was then top television shows with casts that were illogically all white, like Cheers and Murphy Brown. He also critiques Saturday Night Live, which in 1990 featured an entirely white cast.

In the 1990 article, Powers writes that he believes progress will be made in the next decade. Now, three decades later, progress has indeed been made. Major sitcoms like Blackish, Mixed-Ish, Good Trouble, and Grownish prioritize diversity of all kinds, from race to sexuality, gender identity, and ability. Since 1990, Saturday Night Live has grown to be incredibly diverse, too.

However, now, just like 1990 when Powers was writing, more progress can still be made. Despite the presence of diverse television shows, sitcoms with (almost) all white casts like The Office and Friends still gather large followings and huge viewerships. The 2017 reboot of Dynasty (a show Powers mentions) is almost as white as it was in earlier iterations. Large cable programs like The Bachelor and Bachelorette rarely (and sometimes never) feature people of color.

Villanovan article: "Blacks progress on TV"

 

Would Powers be satisfied with the progress that has been made? Does this article feel strangely topical despite being thirty years old? Let us know your thoughts via Instagram (@villanovalibrary) or Twitter (@FalveyLibrary).


Kelly McMahon CLAS ’22 is a student assistant in the Communication and Marketing office at Falvey Memorial Library.


Like

Celebrate Black History Month: READ!

By Daniella Snyder

'Cat In the Stacks Logo and Banner

I’m Daniella Snyder, a graduate student at Villanova University, and your ’Cat in Falvey Memorial Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics–from research to study habits and everything in between–and how the Falvey can play a large role in your success here on campus!

Hey, Wildcats, big things are happening next week in Falvey for Black History Month.

On Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., join members of the Villanova community in Speakers’ Corner for the African American Read-In. We’ll be listening to and reading cherished texts aloud. Falvey will have materials available to read, from poetry to scientific papers, but you should feel free to bring your own book.

The Read-In is sponsored by the Department of Education and Counseling; Falvey Memorial Library; the Department of English; the Department of Communication; the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and CLAS Diversity; and the Equity and Inclusion Committee. The African American Read-In is affiliated with the National Council of Teachers of English and Villanova University’s Black History Month.

Here at Falvey, we’ve been gathering library goers’ favorite books by authors of color. Here are some of the more popular recommendations that are available in our stacks:

the bluest eye cover

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

In Toni Morrison’s first novel, published in 1970, she tells the story of Pecola Breedlove growing up during the years following the Great Depression. Morrison, a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was (and still is) an American literary genius and hero.

The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

James Baldwin wrote this nonfiction book in 1963. It contains two essays, each of them relating to the role of race in the United States and religion. Along with essays, Baldwin also wrote fiction and plays, and his writing addresses the intersections of race and masculinity, sexuality, spirituality, and class.

sister outside

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde, feminist icon, composed a collection of essays and speeches dating from 1976 to 1984, and speaks to her identity as a black woman, lesbian, and mother. The essays in this collection are considered landmark works that have inspired decades of third and fourth-wave feminist thought.

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates drew from his own life growing up in Baltimore to write this nonfiction book in 2015 . Inspired by the structure of Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Coates wrote the book in the form of a letter to his teenage son in an attempt to explain to him the racist violence that has become woven into American culture. It was named one of the best books of the decade in The New York Times.

What will you be reading for the African American Read-In? Tell us @villanovalibrary on Instagram or tweet us @falveylibrary!


Daniella Snyder HeadshotDaniella Snyder, graduate assistant in the Communication & Marketing Department, recommends reading [insert] boy by Danez Smith for Black History Month.

 

 


 


Like

Foto Friday: Celebrate Black History Month on Campus

By Kallie Stahl

Flyer of Black History Month events.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 


Like

Next Page »

 


Last Modified: January 31, 2020